Functional fillers for Fall semester holes

By Elise Reed

Beginning this week, students across UK’s campus will register for fall semester classes. For students who need to fulfill University Studies Program requirements, several options are available in categories such as social sciences, written communication, natural sciences and general electives.

Although some students may be tempted to fill empty spaces in their schedule with “fun” classes, the following are a few fall courses that fulfill university requirements and also have practical benefits.

PS 101: American Government. This social science class provides a comprehensive overview of the American political system and the nuts and bolts of key governmental organizations, according to the course description on UK’s Web site.

Students in this course also learn about the election process, a timely lesson in fall 2008, when Americans will elect the next president.

ENG 203: Business Writing. This class fulfills the graduation writing requirement without a great deal of literary analysis. In ENG 203, students focus on professional correspondence and reports rather than the traditional essay. It is geared toward writing skills that would be used in business, industry and government careers, according to the course syllabus.

FAM 251: Personal and Family Finance. This course, which would count toward elective credit, teaches students the basics of lifetime money management, spanning from student loans to retirement planning. Topics covered include how to calculate tax payments, mortgage a home and manage credit, according to the course syllabus.

Instructor Martie Gillen said the lessons about money management would be especially helpful to students once they are officially on their own. One of the course’s assignments requires students to track their income and expenses for one month and then create a budget for the following month based on what they spend and earn.

“Students learn pretty quickly that 3 dollars at Starbucks a couple times a week adds up,” Gillen said.

GLY 120: Sustainable Planet: The Geology of Natural Resources. This course, which fulfills natural science requirements, might be the preferred choice for students who do not consider themselves very science-minded.  While students learn about geological processes, they also examine use and abuse of natural resources and the political importance of resource management, according to the course syllabus.